Mike Carp could start rehab soon | Mariners Notebook
Manager Eric Wedge said Mike Carp is ready to begin a rehab assignment "as soon as the next couple of days."
Seattle Times staff reporter
Mike Carp hit the ball well in batting practice Tuesday and met afterward with manager Eric Wedge and general manager Jack Zduriencik. Wedge said Carp is ready to begin a rehab assignment "as soon as the next couple of days."
The interesting development is that Carp, who sprained his shoulder in the season-opening game in Japan and was out until early May, only to aggravate the injury and return to the DL on June 12, will play just first base this time. No outfield work, which the team believes will help his recovery.
"We feel like we're pushing a bad play if we start to lengthen that thing out again in the outfield this year," Wedge said. "Obviously, it's a completely different rehab when you're talking about throwing in the outfield than throwing at first base. Hopefully, we can have the best of both worlds. To get out there and throw in the outfield puts a lot more strain on your arm. I want to him to be healthy, I want to see him hit, get him back here and evaluate him.
"Right now, we're just going to focus on first base with him. We tried to do it the first time in the outfield and it didn't work. It affected his swing. Nothing has really changed, other than him getting stronger. But he was stronger the first time coming back, too but he wore himself down. To get him back and be able to keep him back, I think we're going to start out at first base, at least for a while and go from there."
• Reliever Stephen Pryor, out since June 13 with a strained left groin, could join Carp on rehab soon. He will go on the road with the team to Oakland Friday. Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez is unlikely to return before the All-Star break, Wedge said.
• Batting practice was enlivened by the presence of first-round draft pick Mike Zunino, who started off slowly, but by the end of his round (with Jesus Montero, Brendan Ryan and Carp) bombed a few balls out of the park — one into the upper deck in left.
"He looked good," Wedge said, noting that he hadn't hit in a couple of weeks and was using a wood bat. "The more he was in there, the more comfortable he was. There's a lot to like there. Good for him for getting out here and signing. We're so pleased to have him in the organization. He's going through an exciting time in his life now."
Wedge said he met briefly with Zunino and had a couple of points he wanted to convey.
"Just about things that are important to us in the organization, things that should be important to him in regards to the game of baseball. ... I didn't want to give him too much, but give him a little bit of direction. The important thing he needs to understand is this is an organization that cares about the right things. We're on our way to doing things we feel strongly he's going to want to be a big part of."